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Poll: Moreno overtakes LaRose in Ohio GOP Senate primary race

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(The Center Square) – More than a month after former President Donald Trump endorsed Bernie Moreno in the Ohio Republican primary for U.S. Senate, the Cleveland businessman now leads the race, a new poll shows.

The Emerson College poll released Thursday shows Moreno with 22% support, ahead of Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s 21% and state Sen. Matt Dolan’s 15%. But 42% of those asked are undecided.

The poll surveyed 1,844 registered voters Tuesday through Thursday of last week with a margin of error of plus/minus 2.5 percentage points.

Ohio voters head to the polls March 19. The registration deadline is Feb. 20, and absentee voting and early in-person voting begins Feb. 21.

Moreno’s backing grew 12 percentage points since the same survey in November, while LaRose’s increased 3 points and Dolan remained the same.

Trump issued his endorsement in late December.

“Moreno had the most substantial movement from the November poll following former President Trump’s December endorsement,” said Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling. “A quarter (25%) of Trump general election voters support Moreno in the U.S. Senate primary.”

The same poll shows Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown continues to lead all three potential challengers, but the gap is closer than in November.

In November, Brown led Dolan by 3 points, LaRose by 5 and Moreno by 11. The most recent poll shows Brown with a 1-point lead over Dolan and a 2-point lead over both LaRose and Moreno.

“Moreno appears to be the preferred choice to challenge Brown among older voters – just over a quarter (26%) of voters ages 50 or older support Moreno, compared to 19% who support LaRose, and 16% who support Dolan,” Kimball said. “Conversely, LaRose performs better among younger Republican voters, earning 26% support from GOP voters under 30.”

In a presidential election between Trump and President Joe Biden, Trump leads 47%-36% among Ohio voters. Nine percent would support someone else, and 9% are undecided. Support for both Trump and Biden dipped slightly from November, when Trump led 50%-38%.

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